While the customer relationship management industry continued to grow, it did so at a slower rate, says a new report from the Aberdeen Group. The market grew only about nine percent in 2001. “The cooling economy made more organizations slow down their purchase decisions and seek out greater assurances of success prior to cutting purchase orders,” the report says. “Many CRM vendors reported a need to accurately project return on investment, which resulted in more baseline studies being performed during or immediately after the sales process.”

Despite the downturn, Aberdeen still expects CRM to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 20 percent for the next five years. “CRM continues to have impressive growth with a 19.9 percent CAGR from 2001 to 2005,” the report says. “This rate is well below the 40 percent to 50 percent annual growth rate of recent years.”

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